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Here's a grouping that was awarded to P.C. B (Bernard) Bowen, A Division of the Metropolitan Police. The 1887 Police Jubilee Medal with the 1897 Clasp came with the original box top addressed to P.C. Bowen. This begs the question that, if the recipients of the 1887 Jubilee Medal only received the 1897 Clasp, provided they qualified, then why is it that P.C. Bowen received this medal complete with Clasp after 1897. I say "after" because he would have had to have been on duty at one of the parades etc. to have qualified. I've posted the medal with this question on the Commonwealth Police thread as well to see if any of our members there or here can answer this question.

The grouping came with the "National" Special Constabulary Long Service and Good Conduct Medal named to Bernard Bowen as well as the Metropolitian SC Long Service broach-style Medal 1914, and a cap badge for the Met's Specials. The cap badge has two loops for attachemnt to the cap and ,I believe, is not a lapel badge. Whether the cap badge and the Metropolitian Medal were awarded to SC Bernard Bowen is not above question. however, I think it is likely his. Any of the members thoughts and opinions are, as always, welcomed and appreciated.



Hi Brian

I was told that the chrome specials badge was for senior officers and dates from the twenties/thirties period, as (and I may be wrong) that,s the period that police badges started to be chromed. Would that fit in with your man do you think rising in rank as an ex regular. Pity the Met or any other forces never kept specials records.

Regards Alan

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The transcription below is from a report by Marcus.I.Wade, Group Leader, No2. Group, Alnwick :-


"B" or Alnwick Special Constable Police Division.



Since my report of the 4th instant I have had a Meeting of the Members of my Group and discussed with them generally the duties that would devolve upon them in the event of an Invasion.

The disposal of my Group is as follws :-


Messrs W. Robinson, J.sordy and R.Rickaby have been appointed to direct and see that this is properly carried out..


Messrs J.Purviss, J.Fairburn, W.Hudson, A.H.Hare and Frank Wallace.


The following will be stationed as under :-

Lemmington Bank - J.Brown.

Mossy Ford Bridge - W.Young.

Clayport Top - W.Bell.

Royal Oak - J.Armstrong.

Rugley Road End - J.D.Thompson.

Hadwins Close - Harry Forster.

whose duties will be to direct all animals, Transport vehicles, Inhabitants and Military.


That portion of the Town within my Area has been sub-divided into blocks running South as under which the following Members are stationed :

Clayport Top to St. Michael's Lane - James Gray.

Clayport Prudhoes Road End - D.T.Castles.

St Michael's Lane to Hotspur Tower - Thomas Forster.

Hotspur Tower to the Railway Station - T.F.Cunningham.

New Buildings - R.Holt.

Railway Station to Royal Oak - E.Croudace.

Royal Oak to Alndyke - A.Smith.

whose duties will be to see to the Removal of all animals, Transport vehicles, Bicycles, Barbed Wire, Entrenching Tools etc. and the direction of the Inhabitants.


On the alarm being given all the Members (with the exception of Messrs Robinson, Sordy, Rickaby, G.Brown and Frank Wallace) will assemble at the Police Station to receive Final Instructions before taking up their positions.

With reference to : -

(a) Messrs Robinson, Sordy and Rickaby a Despatch Rider will be sent to warn them to act.

(b) G.Brown is to proceed without delay to his Station at Lemmington Bank Top.

© Frank Wallace has instructions in the event of the alarm occurring during the night to proceed with all despatch on his motorcycle to

Edlingham Station and warn the Station Master to make immediate preparations for the running of Trains from Alnwick.

Dated this 24th day of December 1914.


Group Leader.

Edited by SCcollector

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Here is a Staffordshire Special Constable's lapel pin that just arrived today.

The pin measures 19mm in width and 29mm in height. On the back is stamped the number 190 and the maker's name. Some of the name is under the weld but what I can read is: THOMAS ?????NI, REGENT ST. BIRMINGHAM. I don't know if this dates from WWI or WWII and perhaps if I knew the maker's full name I could research along that avenue. Would anyone know the manufacturer's last name?

The enamel is in very good condition and the only issue is the stud on the back is bent. I'm not going to attempt to repair this as it is not distracting from the appearance of the pin.

I'll post a photo of the back next.



HI Brian

Thought you may like to see this as you collect Staffordshire, makes my computer generated certificate with just a force crest look plane. Unfortunately the photo does not do it justice.

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Another report from Mr Wade, Group Leader, from around the same period :-


"B" or Alnwick Special Constable Police Division.



The following steps have been taken by me since receiving instructions from the Emergency Committee :-

1. I have written to the Tradesmen and others within my Area to supply me with Lists of the number and quantity of the following tools &c.

a. Entrenching tools i.e. Spades, Shovels, Pickaxes &c.

b. Barbed and other Wire, Wire Netting &c.

c. Axes, Saws and Bill Hooks.

d. Anything useful for blocking Roads or for building field works.

e. Cycles.

f. Motor Cars, Motor Wagons and Motor Cycles.

g. Petrol and other liquid fuel.

h. Horses.

i. Carts, Wagons, Barrows Vans &c.

j. Rifles.

k. Guns.

l. Pistols.


n. Ammunition.

This information is coming in and when completed a statement will be prepared.

2. I have written to the Grocers and Provision Merchants enquiring in the event of the landing of the enemy in the neighbourhood what

arrangements they propose making for the removal or destruction of their stock.

3. I have now received a List of the Special Constables forming my Group and intend callinf them together next week to instruct them

generally as to their duties and to alert to each the particular duty or duties to be carried out by him in the event of an invasion.

4. I understand that the Owners of Live Stock within my Area have already been given instructions as to the branding, removal or destruction

of same.

Dated this 4th day of December 1914.


Group Leader.

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On further examination of the Northumberland it seems that the file owner was Mr Middlemass, Group Leader. I can only repeat what has been said earlier about the lack of records relating to Special Constabularies and salute Mr Middlemass and his descendants for keeping this file safe.

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Hi Brian

I was told that the chrome specials badge was for senior officers and dates from the twenties/thirties period, as (and I may be wrong) that,s the period that police badges started to be chromed. Would that fit in with your man do you think rising in rank as an ex regular. Pity the Met or any other forces never kept specials records.

Regards Alan

Thanks for that information Alan.

Since this officer was serving during the Great War as a Special Constable I think it quite likely that he would have still been serving into the 1920's. Also, as you have pointed out, being an ex-P.C. he would have more than likely risen in the ranks thereby qualifying for the chromed cap badge.

Thanks again for the additional information.



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HI Brian

Thought you may like to see this as you collect Staffordshire, makes my computer generated certificate with just a force crest look plane. Unfortunately the photo does not do it justice.

Thank you very much for posting this document, I did indeed enjoy seeing it. It's the first I've seen though I am by no means an expert on the subject.



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Here is a letter from Thomas R Reavall, Group Leader, Group No.1., Ledbury, to Mr Middlemass :-

Ledbury District.

Fountain House,



December 5th. 1914.

Dear Sir,

I have obtained several more suitable names for Special Constables in Boulmer and Loghoughten (South of the Boundary Road) and as they are

willing to do anything if called on, I have sent their names to Supt. Bolton.

Collecting Areas and suggested route by minor roads for the removal of Transport and Stock etc. has been planned and I shall be able to give you a rough sketch with full particulars in my next report.

I am proceeding with register of owners of Bicycles, Motors etc. and will give you full details as early as possible.

Yours faithfully,


R.Middlemass Esq.,



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Another letter dated later in December 1914.

Lesbury District.




Dear Sir,

Herewwith please find my report regarding arrangements in connection with the "Duties of The Local Emergency Committee" which I trust is satisfactory.

Belive me,

Yours faithfully,

Tom R Reavell

Group Leader.

R.Middlemass Esq.,



Lesbury District

Duties of the Local Emergency Committee.

1. Appointment of Special Constables.


2. Cycle Despatch Corps.

The Special Constables who ride Motor Cycles have been instructed in their duties.

3. Selection of Collecting Areas for Transport Animals.

The road westward selected for this district is a good private Bye-road leading from Boulmer to the Parks via Ratcheugh Sea Blazes,

Denwick and the pasture (See Map of District).

4. Livestock.

5. Transport Vehicles.

This, except the Register of Cycles has been completed. The Register will be forwarded top you as soon as completed.

6. Entrenching Tools.


7. Registration of Labourers.

None available in the district.

8. Assist Supply Offices.

9. Petrol, Rubber Tyres etc.

None in this ditrict.

10. Boats & Barges.

Those at Boulmer I understand are not considered useful to the enemy.

11. Special Constables at Cross Roads.

Carefully arranged and written instructions given.

12. Direct the Civil Population.

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Thank you very much for posting this document, I did indeed enjoy seeing it. It's the first I've seen though I am by no means an expert on the subject.



Hello Brian,

This is a certificate from Sunderland which I picked up last year. The art work is superb.


Edited by SCcollector

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Hello Brian,

This is a certificate from Sunderland which I picked up last year. The arty work is superb.


Hi Kevin

Very nice could be a complete new field of collecting specials certificates of service.

Regards Alan

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Very nice documents indeed. I have one coming to me somewhere between the U.K. and here. I though it was a nice document until I saw these.

I'll post it anyway when it arrives.

It'll be the ugly duckling. :lol:



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Hi Kevin

Very nice could be a complete new field of collecting specials certificates of service.

Regards Alan

Hello Alan I quite agree. There must be plenty of certificates around. The sectret is finding them. I thought you might be interested in this Christmas Card sent by the Gloucestrshire Special Constabulary during WW11. I haven't seen an example from another force but I wouldn't be surprised if there were others. I am a firm believer in creating a repository for SC memorabilia. Perhaps this forum is the embryo.

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Kevin - all of this material from Alnwick is more then just an interesting collection of local material. We are watching a Country gearing-up it's citizens to fight the first possible major invasion since 1066 ! This pattern of events for preparing a Special Constabulary was being repeated throughout the Country.

When the 1st. WW broke-out, the Regular Police were encouraged to join the Army - they were a disciplined body of men and we desperately needed to build-up the Army. However, their absence caused great problems with most of the younger men gone and this 'mobilisation' of civilians into the Specials was the first response. Later the War Reserve Constables were organised more along the lines of the traditional police. However, not all regulars joined - and as always, they were the ones in charge. Martial Law was not declared and therefore, the Police remained in control of all civil matters. When they talk of the 'Army would make them move' - only if Martial Law was to be declared - which it would have been in the event of a landing.

These types of organisations were being repeated everywhere - and each set of instructions is unique in that local citizens are named and local landmarks talked about. I feel that these should be in a local Museum - or, if you don't want to part with them - then they should be copied and placed on record. I would also recommend that you write a series of articles for the local papers, based on these reports - after all the people mentioned are all local and their descendents would be interested.

Edited by Mervyn Mitton

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Good Morning Mervyn,

Many thanks for your most helpful comments. There are a couple of issues which I feel are of interest.

Firstly, I think that it would be desirable to place the efforts of this division of the Special Constabulary into the context of the workings of the Northumberland Constabulary, under whose directions they worked. I am a little surprised to see the amount of planning work apparently carried out by the Special Constabualry which does not appear to give any reference to the interface with the regular police that would have existed. Reference is made to the local emergency committee(s) structure and the interface through that medium with the Military and the Lord Lieutenant, who appeared to have had a more active role; far removed from our modern interpretation of what appears to be a largely ceremonial office. Perhaps the remainder of the bundle may shed more light.

Secondly, I am intrigued to know how different the workings of the Northumberland Special Constabulary differed from more densely populated areas. This may be teased out through this forum but I suspect that a lot more research would need to be undertaken. The recently displayed Birmingham Waterworks Medal is a case in point. Also, how did the close proximity of this particular division to the North Sea, coupled with the rural location, colour the early planning and later operational aspects of their activities?

Thirdly, your point on preserving this reference material is (as usual) spot on. I am enjoying immensely going through the information and encouraging a dialogue and the sharing of ideas and views. I am also very aware of the amount of material that makes the journey to the skip when our days on earth come to an end. The collector's 'treasure' in the upheaval of bereavement too often becomes magically transformed into rubbish. Last year I managed to get hold of a pocket book from a City of Bradford Special Constable which related to the whole of the Second World War. I have copied the contents and started to liaise with a local historical group at Bradford who should be interested and may be in postion to shed spome light on the contents. The book, however, is now in the Police and Prison Museum at Ripon where it rightly belongs.

Perhaps at some stage a home can be found for this material.

Last year my wife and I spent a couple of hours on a lovely sunny afternoon seated on a bench in Alnwick enjoying a sandwich. We had not visited that area before. Little was I to know that this material would appear a few short months later. A possible first point of reference could be a local historical society in the area. I would be amazed if one did not exist, given the rich history enjoyed by that part of the Country.

Kind regards,


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The transcription below is from a secret document from the Northumberland bundle published in November 1914 and helps to put the work

of the local emergency committees into some context. My apologies for the length :-


NORTHERN COMMAND, C.R. No. 40016, dated 17th November 1914.





1. To select areas for Local Emergency Committees - these areas should generally be co-incidental with Petty Sessional Division;

separate Committees may be formed for Cities and Boroughs having a separate Police Fotce; a map (4 miles to 1 inch)

showing areas slected should be prepared and sent to the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, York.


2. To select the Chairman of the Local Emergency Committee, and arrange with them for the selection andappointment of committees.

The Chairmen selected should be those who are (a) always present in their district; (b) active; © own a motor car, motor-cycle

or riding horse.

The names and addresses of the Chairmen of the Committees should be sent to the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, York.


3. To arrange means of communication of orders from the military, by motor despatch corps., to the Divisional Superintendant or

Inspector of Police and the Special Constable Commanders (see Note, p.2).


4. To approve and settle the collecting places which are to be selected by the Local Emergency Committee in the first instance,

but are to be finally approved by the Central Committee so as to avaoid overlapping routes from places on the borders of

two Local Committees.


5. To organise means of disblement of Flour Mills, Electric Light and Power Stations, &c., this work should be taken charge of by the

Central Committee by arrangements made with owners or engineers connected to such works, and should not left to a

Local Emergency Committee.


6. To organise destruction of Piers, Jetties, and the removal or destruction of such boats and barges in such localities as may

be have been specially indicated by the Military Member of the Committee (See slso psragraph 7).


7. In Counties where there are large rivers or canals, a Special Committee or Committees should be formed to deal with

boats and barges, and any timber or waggons near spots where bridges might be destroyed. The River Committee should

have as Chairman an active member of the River Conservancy Board, and as members a member from each of the Local

Emergency Committee adjoining the river or canal. The Committee will be informed by the Military Officer of the special local

application of this general statement of its duties.


8. To arrange with the Chief Constables to provide badges for the Special Constables.



The Charman to be appointed by the Central Organising Committee; the Members to be selected by the Chairman,

after consultation with the Central Organising Committee.


The Committee should be representaive of the area, but it is even more important thatit should be small, and consist of active men;

it should not exceeed seven in number. The local Superintendant or Inspector of Police should be made an ex-officio member of

the Committee.

The Committee will have the advice of a Military Officer in the early stages of organisation, but will be responsible that the owners

owners of transport animals, live stock, motors, bicycles, and vehicles, understand their duties, and that Special Constables are told

off to specific work, and to understand from whom they will receive orders.

The Committee is an organising advisory committee; the actual executive orders will be given, either direct by a Military Officer

or through the Chief Constable or Divisional Superintendants or Inspectors.


Generally, the Chairman of the Committee should be the Special Constable Commander. Members of the Committee should be

Group Leaders. Each Group Leader should be allocated a district within the area, and be responsible that the Special Constables

in district are efficient, and able to carry out the specific duties allocated to them, and that the means of transmitting orders is

constantly maintained in working order.

A list showing the names of the Special Constable Commander and Group Leaders to whom duties have been assigned should be

sent to the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief for purposes of immediate reference.

Note :- It is hoped that in order to avoid confusion, all Emergency Committees throughout the Northern Command will utilise the titles

"Special Constable Commanders" to denote the head of the Executive in the emergency area, and "Group Leader" to denote

the Chief Special Constable of the district within the area.





1. To submit to the Chief Constable the names of suitable men for appointment as Special Constables; these appointments will

be made by the Magistrate on the recommendation of the Chief Constables, and badges will be provided. In many districts

Special Constables have already been appointed; their names should be obtained from the Chief Constables, and the

selection made as far as possible from among them.


2. TO organise a Cycle Despatch Corps to be attached to the Group Leaders of the Special Constables for the transmission of

orders, so that each group leader shall have cyclists or mounted messengers to distribute messages.


3. To advise the Central Organising Committee of suitable collecting areas for transport animals and light carts; the areas should

usually be westward, and approached by minor roads (thus leaving main roads free for military use), and about 15-20 miles

from the coast or other point of departure. The collecting area need not necessarily be within the Committee's boundary.


4. Cattle removal and destruction: Instructions will be given by the military representative of the Committee.


5. To advise the Central Organising Committee of suitable collecting places, to register the names and addresses of owners of

mtors and bicycles, and to instruct them that on receipt of the order they are immediately to start the motors and bicycles

on the road to the collecting place, and to render useless for transport any vehicles left behing either by removing and taking

with them, or destroying wheels or other necessary parts. Heavy carts and traction machinery should not be moved, but

should be disabled. In populous centres it will not be possible to register the names of owners of bicycles; arrangements

should, however, be made for clearing bicycle shops and garages.


6. On receipt oforder to collect entrenching tools, barbed wire and other wire, wire netting, ans anything useful for blocking

roads, or for military fields works; also axes, saws, and bill hooks, at or near points which will be indicated by the

military officer.

Police Stations or houses or farms near roads may be used for storage. Each storage place should be put under the charge

of a Special Constable, who shall be responsible for producing or destroying the stores when the order to do so is given.

At or near the storea cart or motor for transporting them should be set apart.

Lists of such tools, &c., with names of owners, should be drawn up at once, and if directed by the Military a supply should

be collected at once.


7. To register the names of labourers available to assist the military in making entrenchments and earth works, and to assist

the Police in destructive work.

A Special Constable should be told off for the purpose in each district, and he should be responsible for summoning them

when required, and he should know where the tools required by them are to be obtained.


8. To give all assistance to our own Supply Officers if called upon to assist in collecting supplies that may be required fr

for our troops.


9. To arrange for the removal or destruction of stores of Petrol, Rubber Tyres.


10. To arrange for the removal or destruction of such Boats, Barges and Rafts as may be indicated by the Central Organising



11. To arrange for posting two or more Special Constables at important cross roads, to keep roads clear for the military,

and to direct them and the civil population as required.


12. To do everything possible to keep the inhabitants from encumbering the roads required by the Military Authorities

and to distribute any instructions to them which may be issued by the Government.





Orders for any of the duties to be carried out by the Special Constables will be given either through the Chief Constable of the County, Riding, City, or Borough, as the case may be, or direct by a Military Officer.

It should be borne in mind that in the event, gainst which provision is being made, telephones and telegraphs will probably either be out of working order, or else occupied by the Military, so that alternative methods of communication must be arranged.

The original orders to put the machinery in motion may emanate from the Headquarters of the Northern Command, and it may be possible to communicate to the Chief Constables in most Counties &c., for transmission to the Special Constable Commanders and or Group Leaders in the Local Emergency Areas.

The Divisional Superintendent or Inspector and the Special Constable Commander and Group Leaders should use the Cycle Corps for the transmission of orders to the Special Constables. This Cycle Corps will be organised by the Local Emergency Committee (see Duties, para. 2).




17th November 1914.

Edited by SCcollector

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They clearly didn't have much confidence in the 150-odd ships of the Royal Navy's mighty Grand Fleet to prevent a German invasion.

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Hi Kevin

What a fantastic insight into the early specials. I have a few standing orders for WWII will have to dig them out.

Regards Alan

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Hello, The transcript below was published in November 1914 :-




1. Certain questions have been raised by the Lord-Lieutenants of counties in connection with the "Instructions for the guidance of the Civil Population in the event of beligerent operations in the United Kingdom". As the conditions in different districts vary considerably, absolute uniformity in applying the instructions is impossible, a large discretion must be left to the local Emergeny Committees. Subject to this consideration the decision of the Government on the various questions raised is as follows :-


2. The Government are of the opinion that considerations of secrecy should not preclude full communication to local Emergency Committees of the purposes for which they are organised, nor the issue of instructions by members of the local Emergency Committees to special constables and to individual residents. The Lord-Lieutenants may, if they consider it desirable, announce in the local newspapers the constitution of their Central Organising Committee and of the local Emergency Committees but they should be careful to do it in a form that indicates that there are no new or special grounds for apprehension.


3. The Central Organising Committee should cause it to be understood that the Government will give reasonable compensation for properrty destroyed by owners under instruction of the military authorities or of the police orspecial constables acting under the military authorities.

Orders for the destruction of property should, as far as circumstances will permit, be made in writing, of which a copy should be kept. Any person refusing to destroy or render useless his property when ordered by the military authorities will lose claim to compensation if it is destroyed or rendered useless by the military or police.


4. The possibilty of removing stock is clearly rependant on local conditions. In certain parts of the country stock can be driven to moors and downs off the line of the enemy's probable line of advance, in others they can effectively be interned behind canals and waterways, the bridges of which can be destroyed if not required for our own military operations. The military authorities will instructed to treat each district on its own merits, and to consider beforehand with the civil authorities in each emergency what course ought to be adopted.

The following extract from a letter from the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries may be noted for action in the case of a district where the removal of stock is considered to be impractical and it is decide to destroy :-

"Animals could simply be shot and left in fields; if the carcases are unbled and the entrails are not removed, the flesh becomes practically uneatable in an hour or two. But in any case the animals should be shote, not knifed, so that the blood may be left in them. For the guidance of those who are not experienced in this sort of work it may be mentioned that an animal should be shot either just above a line drawn across the head midway between the bony prominences of the eyes and the crest of the forehead, or from behind downwards on the flat part just behind the crest of the head. A pistol firing a soft lead bullet with a low velocity explosive is the best weapon, and several varieties are made expressly for the purpose."


5. The military authorities may, at their discretion, destroy, or require the police to destroy, wholesale stores of provisions, granaries, and flour mills. Retail and private supplies may be left untouched. Unless special directions are given by the military authorities unthreshed cereals should not be destroyed.


6. While the Government trust that the work of the Committees will continue to be carried out by the voluntary services they agree that the payment of necessary out-of-pocket expenses should be a central charge, and accounts should be sent to the Home Office or Scottish Office. All expenses incurred in respect of special constables are payable from the Police rate.


7. The policy of the Government is to encourage every man to take his part in the present struggle.

If he is of proper age and physique, and not excluded from enlistment by employment in an armament works, railways &c., he should enlist.

If he is not of proper age and physique he should join the nearest Volunteer Corps which is affiliated to the Central Association of Volunteer Training Corps.*

The War Office have recognised this Association and Volunteer Corps affiliated thereto.

Every man who takes this latter course will be provided with a badge and will be counted as a combatant, though no arms, aumminition, or clothing (other than the badge) will be supplied from public sources, and no financial assistance will be given.

Anyone who declines either to enlist or to join an affiliated Volunteer Corps should be informed that he must not take part as a combatant in the defence of his country, and in the case of invasion must be prepared to surrender any arms which he may have in his possession.

He will be liable to all non-combatant duties, such as digging trenches, burying the dead, &c.


The result of the conference with Lord Lieutanants is to show that the course to be pursued by the civil population varies somewhat according to local conditions, and that the issue of instructions to be applicable to all counties is not practicable.

In these circumstances the Instructions (Paper C issued by the Home Office and Scottish Office), which the Lord-Lieutenants have already in their possession, must be regarded as no more than a model and subject to modifications based on local arrangements and conditions.

Instructions suitable for each district should therefore be prepared and printed under the authority of the Lord Lieutenant of the county, and copies should be held by the police and special constables ready for distribution. Draft Instructions, unless they follow the model form, should, before being printed off, submitted to the Home Secretary, or Secretary for Scotland. The Government will bear the cost of printing.

November 27, 1914.

* Headqurters - Judges' Quadrangle, Royal Court of Justice (Carey Street entrance)

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Kevin - it is great that you have found such a good place as this sub-forum, to start publishing these archives. Whilst, I am sure, that similar papers exist in Govt. record offices and perhaps, some specialised libraries these are not general circulation documents. I mentioned in an earlier thread - these give , virtually, a day-by-day up-date on events and for new thoughts on how Specials could be involved.

You mention how these Specials Committees appear to be left to work things out on their own - the last 'secret' document makes it quite clear that the local guidance committees had regular officers of Police - and Army officers, actually giving the orders. However, they clearly relied on the local knowledge of the freshly enrolled Specials.

I am amazed at just how thorough their planning was - remember, these documents were issued right at the beginning of the War in 1914. Where did the background for these plans originate? The vast refugee civilian movements in Europe had not yet happened - and to actually plan for a German invasion certainly was a leap of faith against all current feelings on our invincibility. The South African War (1899-1902) is generally held to have been the training ground for events in WW1 - but, the British populations were never affected in this way.

Mention is made that the Army H.Q. in York is to have all reports sent to them - the question must be - over what area did they have control. Probably for Nthn. England only. Scotland would have had it's own H.Q.

One question - at least - has been answered. The secret document of 1914 gives orders for identification badges for the Specials to be made.

May I make a suggestion - many of the members who read this section are - or, have been - Specials. How about seeing if there are any documents left at your old Stations for this period. Vickers - would be great to know what the City has on record ?

One final point - are you happy Brian - with your posting taking off at a slight tangent ?

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And another :-



18th. December 1914.


1. The working out of the streams of traffic will require careful thought and much detail to avoid cogestion at converging points: this particularly applies to those areas which have a large number of transport animals and carts to remove or where the direction or arrangement of the road does not lend itself to the operation we are contemplating, viz :- a movement to the West.

2. Each Group Leader should for each village farm place or collection of houses in the district for which he is responsible set out the exact route by which the carts and horses and humans (if any) of those houses will proceed to the agreed collecting places in the West.

3. A careful comparison of the roads as marked on the map supplied will be necessary so that each road may get its fair share of the traffic and so the chance of congestion is minimised. If it is possible to get on separate roads the whole way from start to finish and so the streams of traffic do not met until the collection place is reached so much the better, but this will rarely happen; the longer this convergence can be deferred the better the plans will work out.

4. The various places to be mentioned at the lower half of each page should be obvious turning places or cross roads and should be such as are mentioned in the Reduced Survey Maps on the scale of 2 miles to an inch. At some of the places Special Constables would be stationed - to "hold up" it might be streams of traffic - or generally to ensure the orderly progress in the required directions.

5. A further advantage from a having a record in this form of intended routes might be that messages, e'g' to halt or alter certain streams of traffic for military or other unforeseen reasons could easily be carried out: information of the "stream" and its comonents and the exact position at any time of any part of it being readily obtainable by enquiry of the various Special Constables stationed on the route.

6. To explain the method of filling up the book - a map for Lincolnshire together with five pages of that County's Route Book are enclosed: as there are only a few copies will you kindly return both map and book in 2 days time.

The arrangements in Lincolnshire appear to be Southward and to use one large collecting place rather than a few as is proposed in this County: it is hoped however that the enclosures may illustrate the use to which the route books should be put.

7. A Route Book will be provided for each Group Leader who is in charge of the district and a sufficient number are with that object: it is hoped that, acting under instruction of the Commander, will start and fill up his book to provide for his whole District - a copy should be made of of each of ther Group Leaders' books into the larger book which is intended for the District Commander. The exact description of the point at which at which each stream of traffic over into another Petty Sessional Division is to be noted.

Commanders &/or his Group Leaders should arrange (if this has not already been done) to confer with the neighbouring Commanders &/or his Group Leaders so that the continuance of the route through the new Division may be on proper lines.

8. Extra books can sent if applied for, and pages referring to special areas could be filled in and torn out and handed to the Special Constable who might be acting in charge of that particular part of the operation in that special area.

A separate book could, if considered desirable, be used entirely for cattle - but this might be unecessary as probably the intention is to use those fields which adjoin the roads that are being used by the Transport animals and carts.


Chief Constable of


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Chief Constable's letter dated 1 January 1915 :-



1st. January 1915.

Dear Sir,

I enclose herewith some prepared Forms for a scheme dealing with the movement Westward from the Coast.

Shortly the scheme may be explained as under :-

The Special Constables are divided into classes, each class having particular duties to perform, Thus :-

Class "A" Special Cycle Despatch Corps:

Class "B" Constables for duty at Shops and arranging for removal of foodstuffs;

Class "D"Cartmen to remove foodstuffs (not always "Special" Constables);

Class "E" Street and Road duty; and so on.

The Forms to great extent, explain the scheme.

Before the No.1 Forms are issued the respective classes should be called together, their duties explained, and the No1 Forms issued immediately after the meeting.

A Register would necessarily have to be kept showing the number and name of the Special Constable, also the place at which he is to do duty.

The final Forms, when to hand, should be addressed and have and have the necessary instructions filled in, then enveloped and made ready to issue at any time on the shortest notice.

It is also considered that persons whose property is likely to be affected by the scheme should be called together and the position explained to them; thus for one meeting all Grocers and Provision Merchants should be invited, for another all owners of carts etc. In this way cooperation is secured.

The loading of all food-stuffs should as far as possible be done by the shop proprietor &/or his assistants working with the Specials.

I shall be glad to hear that the scheme will be suitable for some parts or for all of your division, after which the necessary forms and envelopes will be forwarded to you. Should you require any other or different Forms, I shall be glad if you will submit a rough draft of them to me. In requisitioning for Forms please say how many of each you require and if to be sent direct to you or to members of your Committee.

Forms on which should be shown the resources of the various Divisions in the County are also forwarded to Commanders. These Forms should be distributed to Group Leaders who should gather on one Form the resources of their respective areas; this being done by utilising Special Constables to make a return for certain parishes, the Group Leader transferring the Parish figures to his return and the whole being eventually entered on Forms for us of the Divisional Commander.

I have added some notes in red ink on some of the Forms; these notes are added in consequence of suggestions made by several Committees to whom I have shewn the Forms, in order to make them perhaps more generally useful.

All the forms can be made appropriate for use by Group Leaders by the substitution those words for that of Commander at the foot.

Yours fathfully,

(s) Fullerton James.

Chief Constable of N/Land.

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January 1st, 1915!

The Allied and Central Powers' armies are eyeball to eyeball on the Western Front and we have a Chief Constable still planning for some fantastical invasion across the North Sea.

I suspect the Chief had a bit too much of the Captain Mainwaring in his psychological make-up.

Absolutely rivetting stuff. Can't wait for 1918's evacuation plans!

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The transcript below is a letter from Arthur Schofield (? Special Constable Commander) to Mr Middlemass, Group Leader, which apparently refers to the Chief Constable's letter of 1 January 1915:-




Jan. 4th. 1915.

Dear Sir,

I enclose a copy of a circular I have just received from the Chief Constable and whilst it might apply to populous districts it would not apply to country districts. I havepointed out in my reply to the Cheif Constable that what we have worked for is rather to decentralise instead of centralising as his present proposal suggests and I shall be glad to have your opinion as to how you think his suggestion will work out.

The forms referred to are ones which require to be filled up in view of an emergency and then only to be delivered when the emergency has occurred, and whilst I think that they would be properly used by the group leader for his particular section I doubt very much the wisdom of even attempting to make the Special Constable Commander responsible for having these orders transmitted after the emergency has arisen.

Yours faithfully,

Arthur Schofield

As various matters have arisen since our last meeting I shall be glad to hear that you could conveniently attend anoth meeting of the group leaders to be held at my House on Saturday next the 9th. inst.. (3.15)

Robert Middlemass Esq.


Edited by SCcollector

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